First Custom Frame: What should I ask/What did you ask?
I have decided to get custom frame built by a local frame maker...actually the only frame builder in my area. I am located in the Tampa Bay area and it's the Quijano Bike Co that will making my frame.
I am getting a steel 29er that will be built to go either geared (1x9) or SS...AND it'll be belt compatible.
We have gone through the preliminary process and will be meeting for a ride on my current steel SS 29er for him to know what my riding is like and what I want.
I want to know what kind of questions I should ask and what did you you wish you knew before you went through this process?
Thanks in advance for any input,
Is this thing on???
(Chirp, chirp, chirp)
First off, kudos for keeping it local. I have a mantra and it goes "I like my bikes the same way I like my beer: Local." I've built 6 custom frames in the last few years (Firefly, Independent Fabrication, Ted Wojcik, Igleheart) as well as worked with framebuilders to modify existing frames (Hot Tubes, Circle A Cycles).
I don't really have any specific questions, rather just some advice.
- I feel a good fitting really helps. I gather you will get this at some point.
- When you get the CAD, really look it over and sit down with (or call) the builder to make sure everything there is exactly what you want. I made the mistake on one of my frames to just okay the design because we went into great detail about the specifications. Big mistake.
- Bring anything to the builder that you plan on using. Your builder will most likely ask you for specific items. Most important are the rear wheel w/tire installed and crankset for clearance issues. Communicate anything specific you have that might have an effect on the design, like if you want to use a specific seat post size.
- Ask the builder to document the process, if that's possible. Firefly takes many photographs and presents them to the proud owner upon completion. They also allow the customer to pop in to check in on the progress. You may want to know if this is an option.
As for questions, well question anything you don't understand. It's that simple. You can always just ask how your design was achieved and how this benefit your style of riding. Ask why specific tubing is being used over others. A good framebuilder will most likely tell you all of this without you asking. Finally, check out other framebuilders websites for ideas. This is always good to have when chatting about design.
Never knew we had a local builder here in Tampa... learn something new everyday!
"I have one speed. I have one gear: Go." -- Charlie Sheen